First, thank you to everyone who took part in #QueerMuseum on July 20th. It’s a topic that has been on my radar for a while and when asked to run it (by the lovely folks at @QueeringMuseum – follow them!) I felt now was the right time. Why? Well since starting CultureThemes, the world has progress in so many ways.
My first time with a related exhibition was back in 2011 at Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery with Matt Smith’s QueerMuseum exhibition. I admit, I didn’t know what it was about at first, I just remember Lucifer in green carnations and the WOW factor it had. Then I found out more and was so impressed with how Matt put on a Queer exhibition by selecting items in the collection that have always been on display.
Last month was Gay Pride so July seemed the perfect time to run #QueerMuseum. Leeds had just ran a LGBT exhibition, BMAG has been a supporter and other museums had run LGBT exhibitions in the past so knew there’d be content.
As always, I tried to leave interpretation to the sharer:
Pride 2016 saw many museums take place (especially in London where the Museums Association (MA) team joined a host of other museum, archive and heritage professions to march at the London Pride parade)
The idea, as ever, is open.
- Have you had a LGBTQ+ exhibition or talk?
- Do you feel there is something in your collection you feel could be #QueerMuseum related?
- Are you part of a group is part of LGBTQ+ that wants to do more with museums and art galleries?
- Or maybe you take Matt Smith’s approach and find ideas in a collection and explain why it looks like it could be in a #QueerMuseum exhibition.
Some found it confusing as they thought it was an exhibition (goes to show there is a need/want for this!), but others like Craig Middleton from Australia took the tag and ran with it. (I’m hoping he storifies his/ Migration Museum’s tweets).
I wouldn’t be honest if I didn’t say I knew this was going to be a difficult hashtag. Why? The topic is sadly not something freely spoken in many countries and indeed in some countries, still seen as illegal. Some countries reached out to say they wouldn’t be able to support the hashtag when it was announced but what was shown was complete respect. While they couldn’t take part, they sent emails to friends in countries that could/would. CultureThemes is a one day event but the work that goes behind the scenes for weeks from museums shouldn’t go unnoticed.
During the day I saw many very good and valid questions. Proud that the hashtag managed to bring really good dialogue!
- Was it too white (to which museums responded).
- Is #QueerMuseum necessary (yes, yes it is).
- What else can be done to integrate #QueerMuseum into mainstream?
- Is the topic taboo? (No, just new for curators to interpret)
Often I’m asked if hashtags make a difference and usually I say hashtags are fun but just sometimes it is more than that:
— 19 Princelet Street (@19pst) July 20, 2016
And the day started the night before…
— Migration Museum (@MigrationMuseum) July 19, 2016
Then it went to England:
— Portrait Gallery (@NPGLondon) July 20, 2016
— Birmingham Museums (@BM_AG) July 20, 2016
Before heading to the states:
It’s #QueerMuseum day!
Andy Warhol, “Ladies and Gentlemen,” 1975, ©AWF pic.twitter.com/ITa4HcGHoF
— Andy Warhol Museum (@TheWarholMuseum) July 20, 2016
— musée du quai Branly (@quaibranly) June 27, 2015
Then back to the states:
— Mark B. Schlemmer (@MarkBSchlemmer) July 20, 2016
— Art Museum Directors (@MuseumDirectors) June 21, 2016
— The Jewish Museum (@TheJewishMuseum) July 20, 2016
— Hammer Museum (@hammer_museum) July 20, 2016
Using a free trial of TweetBinder some stats (only up to 1500 tweets as … free trial).
Thank you to everyone who took time to share #QueerMuseum today. Big topic for 1 day but it’s a great start! Will announce next theme soon!
— CultureThemes (@CultureThemes) July 20, 2016
And finally, ICYMI we made UK Twitter Moments:
— Moments UK (@UKMoments) July 20, 2016